What legal recourse do I have for an tile shower installation that was done4 years ago and is now leaking through the ceiling?

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What legal recourse do I have for an tile shower installation that was done4 years ago and is now leaking through the ceiling?

The contractor has come back to look for the reason for the leak but cannot figure it out. He claims the installation was done properly. I have since researched and discovered that this walk-in tile shower was installed without a moisture barrier behind the cement wallboard. That is why it is leaking and will continue to do so. The tile needs to come down and the job needs to be redone. Is the contractor responsible?

Asked on August 27, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Those moisture barriers aren't great--the problem is they trap moisture and rot the floorboards--causing mold and other problems.  That's my understanding anyway.  I don't really understand your setup though-- is the tile in the actual shower? Or in the bathroom adjoining the actual shower?  I would just ask the contractor for the name of his liability insurer and make a claim.  

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not the contractor that installed the work of improvement (shower) at your home is responsible for improper contruction depends upon whether or not custom and practice warranted the installation of a moisture barrier under the existing standards as adopted by the municipality where the property is located as adopted under the then existing Uniform Building Code (UBC) then in effect.

You will need to get a contractor to establish whether or not the contractor that installed the walk in shower fell below the standard of care of a licensed contractor at the time when the shower was installed as well as the cost for its installation.

Most new works of improvement have a fairly long statute of limitations period if the defect was latent (hidden) as opposed to patent (readily apparent).

From what you have written, it appears that the contractor that installed the shower may be resonsible to you for the costs of repairs.


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